The Price of Teacher Hiring Reform
The Providence Teacher’s union isn’t happy with new hiring rules put in affect this summer, according to this WRNI report from Elisabeth Harrison (h/t). The nut of it is, of course, the removal of seniority as the major factor in determining who gets hired. As Harrison reports:
An order from the State Department of Education…required district leaders to fill all vacancies in the district with the best person for the job instead of the most senior teacher as the teacher contract stipulates.
Apparently, around 100 Providence district teachers have been replaced by out-of-district teachers thanks to the new criterion-based hiring policy. Using this process, the schools got 96% of their first choices (100% of first two) while teachers got 86% of theirs. Steve Smith of the Providence Teachers union found the Superintendent’s office uncommunicative and compared them to the Politburo. Helpful. Smith wanted to give some weight to experience, but, as mandated by the State, Providence had to get away from that method. And by the way, the non-working Providence district teachers continue to receive full pay and benefits while they sit in the reserve pool. Providence Superintendent Tom Brady explained that, basically, such is the price of transition.